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FCC funds rural community projects

FCC funds rural community projects

The AgriSpirit Fund helps rural communities across Canada invest in capital development or sustainability projects 

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is funding 92 community projects through its AgriSpirit Fund, awarding a total of $1.5 million to successful applicants. The AgriSpirit Fund supplies “between $5,000 and $25,000 for community improvement projects that enhance the lives of rural residents,” according to a Sept. 8 press release.

“Eligible organizations are registered charities, non-profits, First Nations or Metis settlements,” Carla Warnyca, manager of community investment at FCC, told Projects must take place “in a town of under 150,000 people because (the funding) is focused on rural Canada” and eligible organizations must not have “received AgriSpirit funding in the past four years because we are trying to spread the love around and support a lot of projects across the country.”

Suitable “projects need to be capital in nature … or they can be a sustainable project,” she added. “It’s all important things for keeping these communities vibrant and viable places where people want to live and work.”

Projects that FCC funded this year across the country include additional storage for a food bank in Saskatchewan, improvements to a fire department in Alberta, handwashing stations for an outdoor recreational space in Quebec, and wheelchair accessible ramps in a skating rink in Prince Edward Island.

In Ontario, over 20 projects received a cumulative total of $340,000 of funding, including an updated irrigation system for Ignatius Farm in Guelph, and purchasing a new van for Chatham-Kent Community Health to help deliver in-home care.

“We see such a wide range” of projects, said Warnyca. The AgriSpirit Fund has been ongoing for 17 years and will continue in 2021. 

“We’re planning to put another $1.5 million in next year. … Applications are open for the whole month of March,” Warnyca explained. Applicants should “know what the project is going to be and what costs will be associated with it, and then who’s going to benefit. The application form is really pretty easy, we’ve tried really hard not to make it a huge onerous process.”

More information on how to apply for the AgriSpirit Fund and a complete list of past projects is available here.

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